Perry’s Pebble Beach Betting Preview & Picks: Which Longshots Can Hang at 2 Shorter Tracks?
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Streelman
The buy-low spot for Brooks got to the house in Phoenix.
Koepka was out there in the 40-1 to 50-1 range depending on where you looked after a string of missed cuts.
But the form didn’t matter, and Brooks came out triumphant again at the site of his first PGA Tour win.
Nothing much to report on my side. Hideki Matsuyama hit the matchup over Harris English before the weekend to minimize the damage, but that’s about it.
On to Pebble Beach now, where we’ll have a format change from past seasons. Much like the AMEX a few weeks ago, the pro-am portion of this event was cancelled. We’ll see the three course rotation trimmed to two, with Monterrey Peninsula getting the boot this time. The cutline will also be trimmed to 36-holes instead of 54.
With Monterrey out, that leaves us with Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. Each course will be used once over the first two rounds, followed by a pair of rounds at Pebble over the weekend.
Scoring here is usually pretty easy, but the wind can make it tricky if it picks up. Monterrey usually plays the easiest of the three, so I’d expect to see the winning score slightly higher than in past seasons with it missing from the rotation this year.
Both courses measure around 7,000 yards and play as some of the shortest on TOUR.
If the wind picks up, the par-72 Spyglass Hill has more trees that protect it and becomes much more playable than Pebble.
It’s one of the few events where length off the tee isn’t really a big factor. It usually comes down to a good iron player who can handle putting on bumpy, fast poa annua greens.
It tends to be an event where a star is dialed in and takes it down, or we get someone from completely out of nowhere. The last 10 events were all won by a player under +3000 or over +15000.
Dustin Johnson is the clear-cut favorite this week at +400. He’s fresh off a win at the Saudi International last week on the European Tour and has a pair of wins here, albeit back in 2009 and 2010.
Patrick Cantlay is next at +1000. The California native doesn’t really have the strongest track record here. He’s made the cut four times but doesn’t have a top-five finish.
After those two, there’s a pretty large drop off to Daniel Berger (+1800) and Paul Casey (+2000). Berger is fresh off a missed cut in Phoenix where he was a popular selection. We’re not seeing much change with his odds here though at an event he’s finished in the top 10 both times he’s played. Casey won on the European Tour a couple weeks ago and was second here in 2019 to Phil Mickelson, so he’s entering an event he’s comfortable with in great form.
Jordan Spieth highlights the end of this range. Books are taking no chances this week, cutting his odds back to +2500 at the first sign of life. He’s also played well here, winning the event in 2017.
Will Zalatoris (+2500) and Francesco Molinari (+2800) also make up the bottom part of this range. Molinari has regained some form in recent weeks and struck the ball well at Torrey Pines. He was a guy I though might slip through the cracks here, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.
Jason Day was the top guy on my mind coming into this week, but +3000 is just a little low for my tastes. He and Molinari will be the two at the top I monitor to see if the price gets any better or if they drift following a slow start.
We’ll start out the card in this range with Kevin Streelman at +5500 at DraftKings. Streelman isn’t long off the tee, so his chances to really win are limited to these shorter tracks. He’s finished inside the top 10 the last three years, including a runner-up finish a year ago. It’s been a slow start to 2021 for Streelman, but things started to improve last week. He finished seventh in the field in approach.
I’ll also circle back to Henrik Norlander at +6600 on BetMGM. He’s had a good run the past three weeks, finishing just outside the top 20 in Phoenix after a couple of strong results in California. He finished 25th a year ago here and wasn’t in nearly as good of form as he is now. So I like his chances of improving on that result and contending this week.
This tournament is as good as any to take a chance down the board. The shorter courses keep some of the more unheralded players around this week and without an abundance of top names, there are just fewer road blocks at the top of the board for them to hurdle.
I like a handful of players this week starting with Scott Stallings at 125/1 at DraftKings. He faded a bit on the weekend in Phoenix, but the game has started to come around. This has been a great spot for him in the past. Prior to a missed cut last year, he finished inside the top 15 on three straight occasions.
I’ll also take a look at Nate Lashley who is 250/1 on DK. Lashley was sixth in the field last week in approach and finished inside the top 20. He’s another player without a lot of length off the tee, but can get hot with the irons and putter, so this is a chance for him to pop up on a leaderboard.
Lastly, I’ll back Kelly Kraft at 600/1 on DK. Just a shot in the dark here, but Kraft was second on this course a few years ago. He missed the cut in Phoenix on the number but had a good week with the irons. It was just some scrambling woes that held him back.
Much like last week, the card is limited early while I wait on Day and Molinari. A lot depends on DJ too. If he’s off to a slow start, this event becomes wide open and I’ll be looking to add a few extra plays. If he shows up in the current form he’s been riding, the field may just be playing for second.
The Pebble Beach Card
- Kevin Streelman +5500 (.6 units)
- Henrik Norlander +6600 (.5 units)
- Scott Stallings +12500 (.26 units)
- Nate Lashley +25000 (.13 units)
- Kelly Kraft +60000 (.06 units)
Total Stake: 1.55 units